Jane Lynch, Emmy Host


The Jane Lynch Emmys had a tall order: Compete against football for TV ratings; compete against Charlie Sheen for attention.

In the end, the show won some—and lost some.

Compared to last year, when the Emmys aired on NBC instead of against NBC's Sunday Night Football, the telecast actually attracted more demographically desirable adults, Fox said.

On the whole, the show averaged 12.4 million. That's enough to keep it from generating "Least-Watched Emmys Ever!" headlines, but it's down about 1 million sets of eyeballs from the 2009 telecast, which also went head-to-head with football.

If the ratings were a mixed bag, then so were the reviews. And, if the James Franco Oscars taught us nothing else, it's that mixed reviews are preferable to all-scathing ones.

USA Today called the Emmys a "good, painless broadcast." It found Lynch "jovial," and the winners, many of them surprises, "great." 

Time gave Lynch props for the Entourage dig (that Kevin Dillon, for one,  didn't dig), and praised the Glee star's overall work, but it judged the telecast itself "mediocre."

IndieWIRE's Caryn James was among the harshest critics. She called the opening "lame," and clocked only "five enertaining minutes out of three hours." Other than that…

Sheen, who made his first Emmy appearance since his Two and a Half Men meltdown and firing, seemed to help the show more than harm it. His presenter appearance was one of the night's most talked-about, analyzed and even praised moments. TiVo said Sheen was flat-out its audience's "most watched and rewatched" segment.  

NBC.com applauded Sheen for "a wisely understated" turn, and referred to the Warlock as no less than "the very essence of grace."

The Los Angeles Times gave Sheen credit for saying the right make-nice words about Two and a Half Men, but observed that he "didn't sound terribly convincing saying it."

Yes, like the show, Sheen won some, and lost some.

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